October 05, 2010 // Franchising.com // EDGEWATER, Md. – The Greene Turtle Franchising Corp. announced today that it has finalized an agreement to bring five of its sports bar and grille locations to Fairfax County, Va. A newly formed franchisee group, GT Fairfax, LLC, signed the agreement on September 2 and is expected to open its first location late next year, with all units scheduled to open by the end of 2014. While specific locations have not yet been identified, the group will seek properties along the U.S. 1 corridor, branching out to the north and west to the Reston/Herndon, Tysons Corner, Chantilly/Centreville and Fairfax areas.
Partners in GT Fairfax, LLC include Larry LeDoyen, Steven Schuh, Larry Ray, James King and Derek Fink. Mr. LeDoyen will lead the partnership's efforts in Fairfax County. Messrs. Schuh, Ray, King and Fink are currently developing three Greene Turtle franchises in Anne Arundel County, Md., under a separate agreement signed last year.
Mr. LeDoyen, CEO of Alexandria-based PromoCorp., a promotional products and marketing solutions firm, was once named "High School Athlete of the Year" by The Baltimore Sun for excelling at lacrosse, basketball and soccer, and was a member of the Johns Hopkins University NCAA champion lacrosse team in 1987. He said his penchant for sports was only part of the reason why he chose to invest in developing The Greene Turtle in Fairfax County.
The Greene Turtle has invested heavily in developing its reputation as a sports-themed bar and grille, he explained, citing the concept's interior décor and big-screen TV broadcasts, its on-site sports-themed events, its support for youth athletics programs and its extensive marketing programs with many of the professional sports teams in the Washington-Baltimore area, including the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens NFL teams, Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles, the NHL's Washington Capitals and the NBA's Washington Wizards. The chain also operates a popular, high-visibility location in Washington, D.C.'s Verizon Center, a central venue for area sports and other major events.
But the chain also has established itself as a favorite destination for those seeking a great place to bring the whole family, Mr. LeDoyen added, and for all members of the public who want to enjoy their favorite comfort foods in a friendly, casual dining environment.
"The Greene Turtle's popularity extends far beyond sports fans to families with young children, businesspeople coming in for lunch or happy hour, and generally anyone in search of comfort food, a great place to cheer on their favorite teams, or a friendly, familiar place to socialize," he said. "We're looking forward to working with The Greene Turtle brand to establish a major presence in Northern Virginia and leverage all that the chain has done to develop and maintain its reputation and gain exposure in this area."
Welcoming GT Fairfax to The Greene Turtle's franchise family, CEO J. Michael Sanford said GT Fairfax represents a team of well-established individuals who are familiar with the local market and have the experience, drive and financial resources to build and support a strong regional presence for the chain.
"We're delighted to have Larry join our family and to have Steve, Larry Ray, James and Derek take a bigger stake in our franchise program," he said. "These partners represent precisely the type of multi-unit franchisees we want to attract as we expand into new territories: successful, influential individuals, some of whom have considerable experience operating successful restaurants, and all of whom appreciate the value of a franchise brand and system and are willing and able to grow steadily to capitalize on both."
The signing of the multi-unit agreement by GT Fairfax represents the latest in a flurry of development activity for The Greene Turtle in Virginia. Since opening a company-operated restaurant in Fredericksburg last fall, the chain has been making steady inroads into the state and has progressed aggressively toward its goal of having 25 to 30 locations statewide. Separate franchisees have opened locations in Leesburg in the north and Chesapeake in the south, and both have agreements in place to open additional sites. Another company-operated site is scheduled to open this fall not far from Chesapeake in Hampton. In all, the chain already has commitments for 12 locations across the state, including the three open units.
The Greene Turtle is now seeking franchisees to help develop up to 18 additional restaurants in northern Virginia, the Hampton Roads area comprising Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and several yet-untapped markets throughout the state, especially Richmond and Blacksburg. In accordance with the chain's plans to have some 150 locations along the Eastern Seaboard within a decade, The Greene Turtle is also seeking franchisees in North and South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, Georgia and Florida. Interested investors should contact Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Finn at (410) 956-1200, ext. 121, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
First opened in Ocean City, Md., in 1976, The Greene Turtle today covers markets across Maryland and extends into Washington, D.C., Virginia and Delaware. Combining comfort food, a casual atmosphere and a sports bar theme marked by big screen TVs broadcasting local and national events, "The Turtle" has become a popular year-round destination for families and friends of all ages. The chain broke into Entrepreneur's "Franchise 500" list in 2010 and was subsequently named one of the "top restaurant franchises of 2010" by the publication. Franchise opportunities are available throughout the Eastern United States to qualifying investors. For more information, contact Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Finn at (410) 956-1200, ext. 121, or email@example.com, or visit www.thegreeneturtle.com.